Lady Louise is counting down the days until the milestone birthday – on November 8, 2003. Alongside thousands of other 17 and 18 year olds, she must also decide whether or not she will head to university next year. But, unlike her schoolmates, she faces the slightly bigger decision of whether or not to take up her royal titles.
Her parents, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, opted against their children using HRH titles from birth.
Their preference is for Lady Louise and younger brother James, Viscount of Severn, 13, to lead a more conventional childhood – allowing them to decide whether they wish to use them or not upon turning 18.
Sophie, 56, said last year she thinks it is “highly unlikely” her children would use the titles.
She said: “We try to bring them up with the understanding that they are very likely to have to work for a living.
“Hence, we made the decision not to use HRH titles.
“They have them and can decide to use them from 18, but I think it’s highly unlikely.”
Sophie also admitted in the past how she hopes Louise will go off to university, but “wouldn’t force her”.
It has been suggested Louise could take on a more public role within the Royal Family upon reaching the landmark birthday and after completing her A-Levels.
Looking ahead to the future, reports have suggested Prince Charles, 72, is considering a slimmed down monarchy when he ascends to the throne.
Speculation indicates how he may wish to focus the spotlight on the immediate line of succession, such as William and George.
Royal biographer Howard Hodgson told Express.co.uk that, if he was in Louise’s shoes, he would take the title.
He said: “If I was her, I would! She’s not going to get any brownie points for not doing it because the Prince of Wales is a really, very nice man who actually also wants to be a good king.”
Mr Hodgson explained that the more minor royals are “not going to be terribly central or terribly important going forwards” due to Charles’ desire to slim down the monarchy, but also admitted there will be duties for Louise should she decide to take her HRH title.
He added: “If she puts her hand up and says ‘I want to take on board royal duties’, she will certainly be able to work and go out and do that without any shadow of a doubt, because there is enough work to go round.
“Princess Anne is in her 70s now, she is second only to Prince Charles in terms of public duties.
“She would want to take it easy at some point. So there is a gap there.”
The gap has, of course, been made more evident since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped back from royal duties.
Louise is frequently reported to be the Queen’s “favourite grandchild”, and was also close to Prince Philip before he died. She is understood to have inherited the Duke of Edinburgh’s beloved ponies and continues to practice carriage driving.
A royal source once said Louise’s hardworking nature “reminds the Queen of her daughter, Princess Anne, who is all about duty”.
The source added: “Edward and Sophie have had to take on more since Harry and Meghan departed and Andrew was removed, their daughter has been inspired to step up and help alongside her parents.”
Another source claimed Louise is “already getting media training and self defence classes”.
The source continued: “She is the sort of kid who can impress adults and get down on a child’s level, all within the same space, which is perfect for someone who may be called upon to visit aged care homes or children’s hospitals within hours of each other.
“It may not sound like much, but to have that ability – and patience – is rare.
“It’s the kind of thing Meghan Markle wasn’t prepared for.”
Source EXPRESS CO UK